By various playwrights

Directed by various directors

For the ninth year in a row, it's our 24-hours-from-page-to-stage Blitz productions. This is one kind of insanity we happily indulge in every year.

Mercury Players Theatre again presents the “Blitz,” eight short plays that are literally created overnight.  At 8 pm on Thursday, eight writers gather to draw their play titles from a hat.  Cloistered together at the Bartell Theatre, they write into the night.  At 8 am on Saturday, they turn their scripts over to the directors, designers, and actors.  In one day, the show is staged, props and costumes found, lines learned.  Only one thing is certain:  The curtain goes up on Friday at 8 pm.  And then we do it all over again.

“Blitz,” literally translated from the German, is “lightning,” a metaphor lost on neither spectator nor performer.  Producer Marcy Weiland calls it the “X-treme sports” of theater.  “Audiences come to see who’s going to crash and burn!  The truth is, some shows are disasters.  But most of them are miracles.  The creativity, and the quality, are simply amazing.  I never get used to it.”

In 2005, each of the Blitzes featured a musical. “Discordia’s Sunshine Death,” by Rob Matsushita and Morey Burnard, was a teen-slasher musical with some sex and lots of violence.  “Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy,” by Catherine Capellaro and Andrew Rohn, was a riff on body image, featuring chubby male strippers.  Both went on to full productions two years later in Mercury’s Revenge of the Mini Musicals, and both were created in one day.  The Blitz is a once-in-a-lifetime event, every year.  Don’t miss it.

Produced by Mercury Players at The Bartell Theatre in the Drury, 113 E. Mifflin St., Madison

Performances: July 11-12, 2008

Performance Times: Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12, 2008, at 8 pm [NOTE: two completely different shows]

Ticket Prices: $15/$10 students and seniors, at the door only.  No advance reservations.

Call 661-9696, ext. 5 for more information.

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ACTORS WANTED for Blitz IX.  All actors welcome to participate in this year’s Blitz, on either Friday, July 11, Saturday, July 12, or both.  Commitment is from 10 am to roughly 10 pm. No audition necessary but you must sign up in advance, in person.  Sign-up:  Monday or Tuesday, July 7 or 8, between 7 and 9 pm, Bartell Theatre, 113 E. Mifflin St..  Questions:  661-9696 x5.